Shoulder Mount Whitetail Cleaning

Submitted by SteveMy on 5/27/99. ( )

My whitetail shoulder mounts are now 3 and 5 years old. Is there
any special maintenance, that I can use to keep clean and that new
look about them?

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Whitetail Cleaning

This response submitted by George Roof on 5/27/99. ( )

Here's what I tell my customers. Never place your animal above a fireplace, wood heater, or direct heated air source. Conversely, do not place it in a moisture laden basement, porch, or garage. Periodically clean the eyes with a good glass cleaner and with a Q-tip, touch a drop of WD40 on the glass to give it a wet look. On the hair, I recommend wiping it gently in the direction of the hair with a soft cloth that has been sprayed lightly with a good furniture polish. About once a year, take a mixture (50-50) of linseed oil and turpentine and paint it on the antlers. It will look messy at first but will dissolve into the antlers within an hour and restore that golden brown dark tone of a live anterl. At least once every 2 years at most, spray your mount with a good moth proofer or get a good insect repellant treatment from your taxidermist. Bug (dermistids) damage can be horrific on the best mount since permanent insect repellants can't be used because of EPA sanctions.
And if you have questions or worries, take it to your taxidermist. Most professionals offer the service free or at a nominal charge. Our customers tend to be friends and we have to make our living off of them. Our enemies take their work elsewhere.

Another Method of Cleaning

This response submitted by John Bellucci on 5/29/99. ( )

Hi Steve,

George is right when he explained about where not to hang a head mount. You did leave out one other place to not hang a head mount though George... and that is, do not hang a head mount over/above a television set. They put off a good deal of heat as well!

As for cleaning. A regular regimen of once a week vacuming is a good place to start. It can even be done once every two weeks if need be. The main thing to remember is to use a soft brush attachment, and to LIGHTLY work in the direction of the hair growth. Do not go against the hair. That's the first step.

Next, I take a clean, white terry-cloth "detailing" towel -- folding it so it sits well in the palm of my hand. I then take a cheap, "store brand" version of Lemon Pledge, the lemon oil furniture spray, and spritz some on the towel, and let it sit a couple of seconds.
I then run the towel over the surface of the hair in the direction of the hair growth, then immediately wipe it off with a clean and dry side of the towel.
This is repeated all over the mount until complete.

This method of cleaning imparts a beautiful shine all over the mount, and does not leave any residue. The lemon oil in the product cuts the wax, so there is no waxy buildup left on the hair. It also smells nice and "fresh". That's another reason I use a store brand and not Pledge... Pledge has more wax, and you want to avoid that.

The same spray is also my choice for brightening the antlers.

For cleaning eyes, I use Windex with a small brush, then wipe them clean with a soft tissue. I've never used the WD40 trick, so I can't give an opinion on that.

Just more food for thought. Best of luck to you... John B.

Cleaning for the affluent hunter

This response submitted by Shepard Humphries on 5/11/00. ( )

I recommend an annual cleaning by a professional. My webpage also lists my competitors, so check it out. For "top of the line" services, use Trophy Animal Mount Cleaning, for a budget cleaning, check out my links page. Good luck.

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